Archive for the ‘hard hearts – stiff necks’ Category

DFCS, the Division of Family and Children Services, is awash in what the Bible calls strongholds. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that has molded itself into a warped and perverted worldview. Strongholds are either rooted in or fabricated from deception and error.

Some beliefs start right, but then mix in error. For example, many social workers begin with a heart-desire to help others, but then they mix in unbiblical ideas from humanist psychology. When confronted with a Bible verse like Proverbs 23:14 (You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from death), they will say that God was wrong. Other “child savers” start off with a wrong foundation. Perhaps they were abused as children themselves, and now they are driven by a neurotic need to get even. This unforgiveness makes them vulnerable, and many are deceived by demon spirits.

No matter what the source, these strongholds govern a person’s reactions to daily situations.

Many parents who are falsely accused of child abuse find that trying to work with DFCS is like hitting a brick wall. When one encounters a social worker who is inflexible and irrational to the point that he or she is blind to the truth—or even to the possibility of a parent’s innocence, it is almost certain that a demonic stronghold exists and is exerting control over the situation.

How Does Satan Build a Stronghold?
Every stronghold has a foundation in sin. Satan still uses much the same technique as is recorded in the Genesis account of the original sin in the Garden of Eden. First he plants an appealing idea in a social worker’s mind. It might be, “You are overwhelmed with work! Just put down a little white lie in the report so you can finish faster. It takes too long to substantiate everything, and besides, if it is not true, they probably did something just as bad or worse when it wasn’t reported! It will all balance out.” Or maybe he tells them, “You know this child is probably safe with its parents, so it won’t really hurt anything to keep the case open a bit so that you can show that your department needs more funding. If you have a lot of extra cases, you can ask for a raise.” Or maybe Satan says, “You know in your gut that these parents are bad, even though you don’t have any actual proof. Just exaggerate a little in your report so that they won’t get away with it!”

It does not really matter how Satan spins it, all he has to do is to get the social worker to lie a little on a report. Then he can use their sin to build his stronghold. And if the devil cannot entice the social workers to lie, he can get them to listen to and participate in gossip. Gossip, slander and perjury are all sins. Gossip repeats rumors without facts. Slander is using false charges or even misrepresentations which defame and damage another person’s reputation. Perjury is lying under oath, but it also includes lying on official reports made “in the line of duty.”

Satan uses these to build a stronghold where DFCS promotes unbiblical doctrines and stirs up evil suspicions.

Why DFCS Workers Come Off As Being Haughty
3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and doesn’t consent to sound words, the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 constant friction of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth.
1 Timothy 6:3-5.
They come off as haughty because they are conceited as pertains to a doctrine other than the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. They are like the Pharisees, believing they know best.

Can the Strongholds Be Pulled Down?
They could be, if DFCS was willing to repent of their lies. But DFCS is addicted to the empowerment that they derive from their warped and twisted doctrine. Every day that they participate in gossip, slander, perjury, and lies, they give Satan the right to stick around and spread more deception. Furthermore, may judges grant them immunity for many of the lies. There is no natural way to pull down these strongholds. It is tough enough to pull down a stronghold in one’s own life when there is a desire to be rid of it. That is done by casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, (see Ephesians 6). Until DFCS repents or Divine Judgment falls, their core demonic strongholds will remain.

Many people will be very shocked on Judgment Day when their eyes are opened into the spirit realm and they see that DFCS has been run by a horde of what some might call ‘Jezebel’ and ‘Feminist’ spirits that specialize in witchcraft. Witchcraft, at its root, is not about a cauldron of foul-smelling potion. Witchcraft is about using power that was not delegated by God to control the lives of others.

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[♦[♦[ Part of the series on How Child Protective Services opposes the Teachings of Christ ]♦]♦]

And having looked around on them with anger, being greatly grieved over the hardness of their heart…
Mark 3:5

This is a concept that CPS is incapable of understanding: that people can experience anger and grief simultaneously and still not miss the mark. Yet in this verse Jesus does exactly that.

Furthermore, it is normal and appropriate for a sane person to have precisely this mix of emotion toward CPS. It is appropriate to be angry at their legalistic cruelty and it is appropriate to be grieved at how this hard-heartedness will eventually destroy them.

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The most high God bestowed on your father Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, greatness, honor, and majesty. … But when he became haughty, stubborn, and presumptuous, he was deposed from his royal throne and his honor was removed from him. He was banished from the society of men and had to eat grass like oxen until he came to know that the Most High is sovereign.
But you, his son Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. You have not glorified the God who has in his control your very breath and in whose hands are all your ways!
God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end.

Daniel 5, selected verses

This is the feast where the handwriting appeared on the wall after Belshazzar used the gold and silver goblets that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem as booty and use then to toast pagan gods. Daniel had been called in to interpret what it said and the quote above is a portion of his answer.

Two points are emphasized here:

From verse 22, “You have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this.”
Belshazzar was being held accountable for what he knew about God. He had seen first hand how God had humbled his own father by driving him mad. Belshazzar had enough knowledge to know to show respect to God, and was now responsible and answerable for that.

From verse 26, “God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.”
Here is another example of a measurable amount of time being allotted, after which disobedience reaches a point beyond correction and judgment falls.

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51“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
Acts 7:51-53

This is the end of Stephen’s speech before the Sanhedrin. Stiff necks are about the same as hard hearts. The only difference is that the stiff-necked person has had an opportunity to bow and did not.

The part of the story that is best remembered is that within minutes after his speech, they drove Stephen out of the city and began stoning him. Other details are given too:
• they began gnashing their teeth at him
• they cried out with a loud voice
• they covered their ears
• they rushed at him with one impulse
• they began stoning him

The stoning is a bit extreme, but the other behaviors are fairly typical of people who do not want to face the truth. They will cover their ears and attack the innocent.

Stoning was to be the penalty for the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord. Covering the ears with the fingers was a public show of protest against the blasphemer. They made a big show of protesting something that never happened! Stephen had not blasphemed God; he had told the truth. Scholars debate over whether the council voted to stone Stephen or if it was mob rule, with the majority thinking that the council did vote to stone him.

If that is the case, then stoning was a deliberately chosen act. In any case, they face the truth by reacting with rage and fury. They were unhinged, vengeful, and unpredictable.

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“But My people did not listen to My voice, So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.
Psalm 81:11a, 12

God gave His people a free choice, and they chose not to listen to Him.

Most liars and false accusers sin deliberately. They know what they said was not a whole and accurate picture of the truth, yet they rationalize to appease whatever conscience they may have left and then proceed to “walk in their own counsels.”

The concept of “giving people over” is one that occurs after instruction and warning. It was time for God’s people to grow up and behave like responsible adults but they chose to act like selfish brats instead.

Many people who are struggling to follow God often wonder why the bad guys seem to get away with stuff. Sometimes they are seeing God giving the wicked over to his own devices. When this is the case, there is an old saying that applies:

Give him enough rope and he will hang himself.

clipart credit

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And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
Romans 1:28

The man who turns from the truth will be allowed to have his way, will fall deeper and deeper into error, and will reap all the evil consequences of loving darkness rather than light. A reprobate mind is one rejected of God.

Those who hate the truth, who refuse to acknowledge God, are given over to a depraved and reprobate mind, abandoned for eternal damnation.

As God allows them to have their own way, they make bigger and crueler mistakes, falling even deeper into error and sin. In the following four verses, Paul lists character traits that are typically associated with hard hearts.

Among the traits he lists, hard hearts are:

Arrogant Lacking in Understanding
Deceitful Obstinate
Envious Slanderering
Gossiping Unmerciful
Greedy Untrustworthy

God gives them over to their own forms of doing evil, eventually bringing death.
The more hardened their hearts become, the less likely they will ever feel remorse leading to repentance.

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For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

Romans 1:21-24

When truth is forsaken, errors multiply in infinitum. These verses address the Truth of the gospel being forsaken, but the principle applies, no matter what forum is used.

The Greek for “professing to be wise” can also be translated “conceiting to be wise.” Natural English doesn’t usually use the word “conceiting” like that, but it would convey the meaning accurately. Their conceit made them reject or abandon the truth.

So God gave them over to their own lusts, and this is His righteous judgment.

In time, the consequence of rejecting truth is utter ruin.

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Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”

John 12:39, 40

And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,

Matthew 13:14, 15

“The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying,
“Go to this people and say:
“Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,

Acts 28:25-27

John, Matthew and Paul are all quoting Isaiah. They reinforce the earlier observation that hard callous hearts cannot see the truth.

Isaiah is one of several prophets that God told to go preach to a people who would not respond. Jeremiah and Ezekiel among others, and now the apostles of the New Testament ran up against the same hardness that makes people stupid.

God told these prophets to go and preach to a people who wouldn’t respond, so that their guilt would be certain.

Many false accusers display this trait. They are stubbornly adamant in their unbelief of the truth.

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for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.
Mark 6:52

And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?
Mark 8:17

The first quote in Mark 6 comes on a day when Jesus has fed 5,000 men on 5 loaves and two fish. After that the disciples had taken a boat across the sea while Jesus stayed behind to pray. They saw Jesus walking across the water toward them on a very blustery night and thought he was a ghost.

The second quote in Mark 8 happens after Jesus has fed 4,000 with seven loaves and a few fish. Again, the disciples are leaving in a ship and just noticed they forgot to pack any food for the trip and did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them.

They had seen 5000 fed with 5 loaves and 2 fish, and just earlier that day had been part of 4000 being fed with 7 loaves and a few fish, and now, with one loaf and an entire sea full of fish all around them, they were worried about how to feed a dozen after Jesus had said, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.”

Totally clueless. Jesus had not been talking about loaves of bread at all, but had given a caution about the metaphorical ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees.

Hard hearts leave people clueless.

Jesus had spoken in a series of rhetorical questions, not as a harsh rebuke. He was trying to get them to think more spiritually. This shows that he knew they were capable of it. If their hearts had been in the right place, their mind would have caught on.

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18 being darkened in their understanding,
excluded from the life of God
because of the ignorance that is in them,
because of the hardness of their heart;
19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality
for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

Ephesians 4:18, 19


The eighteenth verse lays out the progression that was hinted at in yesterday’s verse:

hard hearts → blinded minds

This is the reason that there are no small lies; merely variations in the recipe for singeing the conscience and cooking the soul. Every lie darkens the heart a little bit more. Every time a lie is told, truth is lost. Those who twist the truth are stewing their own souls.

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